8 Health Benefits of Coffee

By , Jason V., SparkPeople Contributor

If you enjoyed a cup of coffee this morning, you have already started the day on a healthy (and possibly more productive!) note. Not only does a cuppa Joe deliver your trusty a.m. caffeine boost, but it also may reduce the risk for certain health problems and can improve bodily functions. Check out the top eight health benefits of consuming coffee.

Increased Alertness and Energy Levels

Coffee contains caffeine, which is responsible for the increased alertness you feel once your first cup has kicked in. Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning that it increases heart rate, respiratory rate and metabolic activity. As a result, more body cells respond to nerve impulses, which improves energy levels.

Stronger Cognitive Functioning

When consumed in small amounts over a period of time (such as two hours), the gradual increase in caffeine heightens the amount of impulses within the brain cells. As a result, the brain recognizes stimuli faster and with more resolve. 

Reduced Risk For Diabetes

Type II Diabetes Mellitus (DM II) occurs when body cells become wholly insensitive to insulin. Since the sensitivity threshold is lowered with the presence of caffeine, the risk for developing DM II is also reduced, reports the American Diabetes Association.

Stimulating Effect on Physical Endurance

A reduction in insulin sensitivity results in fewer cells absorbing glucose from the bloodstream. Therefore, excess glucose is removed from the body within the urine. The decrease in available glucose levels leads to fewer cells becoming engorged, and the body does not store as much excess glucose as fat. Ultimately, fewer fat cells means improved endurance and a greater ability to meet physical demands in general. 

Improved Bowel Habits

Many have experienced the urge to have a bowel movement following the consumption of coffee. Caffeine’s stimulating effects on the body also affect the involuntary muscle contractions within the gastrointestinal tract. Within the colon, increased frequency of contractions, or peristalsis, reduces the ability of the colon to reabsorb water from feces. Therefore, stool does not have enough time within the colon to become hardened prior to entering the rectum. Ultimately, routine bowel movements are an indicator of positive health, and bowel blockages and problems can result in additional health ailments, such as developing septicemia from a ruptured colon.

More Antioxidants

Coffee contains antioxidants, which work to fight free radicals, or unattached oxygen atoms, within the body. When an unattached oxygen atom comes into contact with bodily tissue, the tissue is damaged, if not destroyed entirely. Depending on the type of coffee and its geographic origin, coffee may contain medium to high levels of antioxidants per cup.

Decreased Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease

Some studies show that coffee can reduce the risk for developing Alzheimers later in life, especially in those who drink 3-5 cups per day beginning at midlife.

Protective Benefits For the Liver

Some research, according to the National Library of Medicine, between 1994 and 1998, found increased coffee consumption led to lower risk for the progression of liver cirrhosis. Additionally, people without cirrhosis had a reduced risk for developing cirrhosis. However, excess alcohol consumption supersedes the hepatic, protective benefits of coffee.

From reducing the risk of liver problems to improving mental capabilities, a morning cup of coffee should be considered a step towards a healthier life. Put a twist on your morning cup with these healthy coffee drink recipes from SparkPeople members!

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CAPSULES 6/3/2019
nice post
its good to clean your coffee machine www.bestbuyerguides.com/how-to-clea
AMANDA1391 4/16/2019
Coffee has many health benefits unknown to many people. Like wine, being a regular coffee drinker (2-4 cups a day) has its share of health benefits. Although scientists are still experimenting some of the health benefits one can reap from drinking coffee, there were already many studies conducted that have proven the benefits of coffee. I recently purchased coffee machine after reading this blog
https:// www.endreviews.com/the-best-espress
/ Report
Great post i start my morning with coffee i like coffee. www.harborlandinghealthcenter.com
Its awesome article about coffee i am regular use coffee its mean i take more benefit daily. www.bestnespressomachine.net Report
Thank you for correcting the article! It looks a lot better. However, the claim that coffee can make you go to the bathroom easier is somewhat contradictory to how coffee actually works inside your body. It needs to be remembered that coffee is a diuretic, it dehydrates you. Anything that dehydrates you can make your stool harder. What coffee will do is make you urinate more often. That is a proven fact! That is what diuretics do. Another reason I am concerned about people using coffee to go to the bathroom, is that every laxative I have ever seen cautions people against becoming dependent. They say if you use them too often, you may not be able to go without them. So I think you should check with your doctor if you are having difficulty using the toilet, and not use coffee as a laxative without seeing what the doctor thinks of that. You may have something going on inside you that the doctor can help you with, and he or she may also feel that coffee should not be used as a laxative. Your doctor would probably recommend eating more fiber in your diet. Fiber is good for you, among other reasons, because it moves things in your digestive system along at a faster rate. Coffee can slow things down because it dries you out a little, contrary to what this article claims.
Here is a similar article that is interesting because it says that decaffeinated coffee also has health benefits, that people with certain health conditions should avoid coffee, and that it can cause miscarriages in women who drink a lot of it.
https:// www.webmd.com/food-recipes/coffee-n
@HANNAH_CALM, thank you for pointing this out. We have made the correction and apologize for our error.

@SLIMMERJESSE and @SCOUTFINCH18, this is not a sponsored post and was written by an outside contributor--we have added their name to the byline here.

@BECKIESUEDALTON, it looks like there is a problem with the tool we use to post to G+, and it is feeding in the incorrect image for some of our posts. We apologize for the confusion and are looking into it. Report
I looked up Catecholamines, and you've got it all wrong! They are NOT neurotransmitters. They are hormones which are released by the adrenal glands, and one of them, epinephrine (which used to be called adrenaline), is made from drinking coffee. So you are really full of bogus assertions! No one should listen to you, because you are really bad at doing research and connecting the dots so that you have a cohesive piece. Your article is just a bunch of lies! We should be getting our morning energy from eating a healthy breakfast, and NOT from using any types of drugs whatsoever. If you want to drink a cup of coffee in the morning, great. But don't think it should be about the energy. It better because you enjoy the taste, and you better be eating healthy in the morning. And you might consider having an energizing workout! That would actually be healthy advice. Oh, and another thing, there are a lot of coffee drinkers in America and a great many of them have diabetes. Coffee is no miracle cure! In fact, it can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. So I think people should not drink very much coffee at all.

Please read this article, prepared from a reputable government source, which says that catecholamines, which this bogus SparkPeople article claims are blocked by coffee, but are in fact caused by drinking coffee!

https:// www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/ar

I'm sorry, I drink coffee sometimes too. But if you are going to lie to people about what coffee does, I am going to call you out on it! It is a drug. It is addictive. It will cause headaches if you stop drinking it. It can cause diarrhea. AND it can cause constipation from the dehydration that it causes. People who are dieting do not need to start drinking coffee. If anything, they should be trying to avoid it, because most people eat when they are nervous and coffee creates hormones that make you nervous. So people should not have a lot of it. SparkPeople, why are you paying someone to LIE to us? Report
You actually don't see a lot of doctors and nurses who drink coffee all day long. Ever wonder why????? Report
Shame on SP for this article. Notice that there's no name to this "guest blogger." Special interests aka profit motives abound. Report
Pasta Salad is a health benefit of coffee? Awesome to know, SparkPeople social media liaison!


Please ... take the moment to quality review your posts on G+ before clicking "Publish" or "Send". Your member readers who want to share your articles (but don't want to seem like they're forwarding spam because the picture doesn't match the title or blurb text) will thank you for it. Report
When you feature a guest blogger, I think it is really important to identify the author up front so that readers can decide whether there is a commercial bias to the article that would change perspective......don't get me wrong, I love coffee and was happy to see it's benefits. But if you told me that the article was sponsored by a coffee conglomerate, I might look at it a little differently. Report